Castle Rock Estate is the family estate of Robert Diletti in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, set in the beautiful scenery of the Porongurup National Park the vineyard sits almost in the shadow of the great crag for which it is named, on the north-eastern slopes of the Porongurup mountain range between Albany on the coast and Mt. Barker further inland.
Robert was a small lad in the early 1980s when the estate was established and learned much from helping his father there before enrolling on a winemaking course at the Charles Sturt University for a couple of years and then working at Mount Adam in the Eden Valley, South Australia, for another two. In 1999 he landed a job as assistant winemaker at Alkoomi much closer to home – so close in fact that Castle Rock’s grapes were made into wine there, giving Robert much experience with the fruit of his family estate.
After his job at Alkoomi, and time spent working a vintage in Alsace he returned to take over Castle Rock Estate and build a brand new winery in the vineyards. Now he makes his own acclaimed wines and contracts his services for several other vineyards. In James Halliday’s 2015 Wine Companion he was named the inaugural ‘Winemaker of the Year’.
The vineyard is elevated and cool and has a northerly aspect and the winery is built into the slope of a hill. This allows the whole process of moving the grapes and the must to be done by gravity alone, reducing the agitation of skin and seeds in the riesling in particular and lessening the extraction of unwanted phenolics. Though they make red and white wines from cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, muscat and the like, it is riesling that Castle Rock majors in, making six different bottlings.